United HC

Lady Lions dominate weekend competition

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During three full days of competition, the Varsity Lady Lions proved without question they are a dominant force in Central Texas softball, racking up powerful wins over every team they faced.

On Thursday, March 4, the Lady Lions traveled to Victoria to compete in the opening rounds of tournament play. The team opened the tournament against a young team from Runge, an

d deftly defeated their opponents 17-0.

The Lady Lions overpowered the Yellowjackets with multiple hits and aggressive base running.

Taylor Rives pitched the first two innings, racking up seven strikeouts from the circle. Freshman Mikaela Flores came in for the final three innings and added four strikeouts of her own.

Veronica Escobedo picked up two doubles during the game. Amanda Capello went 3-5 with three RBIs. T. Rives was 2-2 with a double, while Morgan Rives also went 2-2. Chelsea Capello hit 3-4 with a double; Jamie Schulle was 2-5 and Jarin Hazelett added a single.

In the next round of the tournament, the Lady Lions faced off with St. Joseph”s.

After a slow start in the first two innings, the Lady Lions turned up the heat and started on their journey toward a 7-0 victory.

The rally started in the third when Schulle hit a single to bring Stacks home. A. Capello scored Schulle, and then T. Rives sent a double to right center to score Capello.

Other big hitters were Escobedo (2-3 with a triple and two RBIs) and Mackinzee Griebel (2-3).

Schulle pitched for the Lady Lions, and struck out seven batters.

The victory advanced the Lady Lions to the Gold Bracket, which they returned to play on Saturday.

Although they had a break from tournament play on Friday, the Lady Lions hosted the Hays Rebels in the District Opener on March 5.

The Lady Lions opened scoring in the second inning after Kassie Gaddis drew a walk and then made an aggressive play to steal second. Griebel took a base on a single, and moved Gaddis around to put the Lady Lions in scoring position. Brandy Stacks drove a big double to center, chalking up two RBIs and scoring Gaddis and Griebel and giving the Lady Lions a 2-0 lead.

Later, Escobedo sent a long ball into right centerfield for a stand-up triple, scoring two more Lady Lions and increasing the lead to four.

The hitting rally continued through the fifth inning, eventually forcing the Lady Lions to “run rule” the Rebels, 12-2.

Offensive standouts on the night were Stacks (2-2 with a double); A. Capello, with a double and two RBIs; Schulle, with a single and two RBIs; T. Rives (2-4 with one RBI); M. Rives, with a double; Escobedo, with a triple; and Griebel (2-3). Hazelett”s speed helped the Lady Lions in base running, as she scored twice as a pinch runner for catcher A. Capello. T. Rives struck out five from the circle and gave up only two singles on the night.

Riding high from their successful Friday night showing, the Lady Lions were up early on Saturday morning, returning to Victoria to finish out the Gold Bracket of tournament, first facing the School for Home Educators (SHE).

The Lady Lions seemed tired after their Friday night game, and weren”t able to get a runner across the plate until the fifth inning.

Lockhart trailed 1-0 to the talented SHE team until Gaddis took the plate and started the hitting rally, tying the game at 1 after a single to right field scored M. Rives, who had reached base on a single.

Later, the Lady Lions gave a “sister act” when T. Rives drove a double to center and was brought home by her younger sister, Morgan Rives. M. Rives then stole home, bringing the Lady Lions to a 3-1 lead.

The Lady Lions defense was strong, committing zero errors. Schulle struck out nine of SHE”s strong hitters. This allowed Lockhart to play for the championship trophy.

In the championship game Lockhart defeated Duchesne 7-0.

The Lady Lions scored one run quickly in the second inning, from the bat of M. Rives, who drove in Escobedo who reached first on a base on balls. They would add the rest of their runs in the third and fourth innings.

In the third Stacks Schulle, and Escobedo had three straight singles, followed by A. Capello, who drove in a run off the sacrifice fly to leftfield. The Lady Lions were ahead 3-0, but in the fourth inning, they blew things wide open.

After several Lady Lions reaching base on walks, Schulle hit a single followed by A. Capello with a double and three RBIs. Hazelett and Monica Parra were flawless on defense, while T. Rives struck out nine from the mound.

Lockhart took home the first place trophy and had a tournament MVP and three All-Tournament selections.

Catcher Amanda Capello was awarded the MVP of the tournament for her eye-popping performance at the plate. She had a whopping eight RBIs and six hits over the two days of play. All-Tournament selections went to freshmen and clutch hitter Morgan Rives, who had six hits and three RBIs, junior pitcher Taylor Rives who had eight hits with four RBIs and 16 strikes outs, and senior Jamie Schulle who had seven hits with three RBIs and 16 strike outs.
(Courtesy of Alisha Homann)

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